I really enjoyed the ASA meetings in Denver this year.
Lots of great conversations with both new friends and old. And, some very good panels (which can sometimes be hit-or-miss).
I was struck by the rapid growth and maturity of the Global & Transnational Sociology section. The organizers and leadership deserve a huge amount of credit, starting with John Boli (who really put it all together) and continuing through to this year’s Chair Sarah Babb… and everyone in between. They’ve built a broad tent, inclusive of scholars addressing a wide range of theoretical, substantive, and methodological issues. And, people are clearly putting effort into making the ASA less American-centric. Last, but not least, it is just a friendly bunch of people.
The growth of the section is creating community and lots of positive interactions… including the terrific pre-conference (organized by Peggy Levitt and Liz Boyle) and some excellent panels.
Also, the section literally helps constitute and institutionalize the global/transnational sub-field in sociology. This year I’m seeing what is surely a record number of jobs for scholars working in “global & transnational sociology”. This is totally new. In the past, one might see postings for scholars whose research is “international” or occasionally jobs for people studying “globalization” or “comparative sociology” or “global political economy”. Now that there is a formal section, we see standardization of job postings around the label. And, the existence of the section presumably makes it easier to list global/transnational as an area on a job ad. The section legitimates the enterprise… so probably more jobs overall.
Overall, this is a Very Good Thing.